Minnesota State Flower
The Pink and White Lady Slipper
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Learn about the Minnesota State Flower, the Pink and White Lady Slipper...also called The Showy Lady Slipper. Our Minnesota state symbols include this lovely and rare member of the orchid family.
The pink and white lady slipper is known by several names including the showy lady’s slipper, the queen’s lady slipper, the moccasin flower and, it's official name, Cypripedium reginae.
Let me say again that discovering a lady slipper in it's natural habitat is not a common experience. In all of my years of living in Minnesota, I have only come across the Minnesota state flower a few times.
Minnesota Wild Flowers
Facts About the Minnesota State Flower
The Showy Ladyslipper
- The pink and white showy lady slipper was adopted as the state flower in 1902.
- The lady slipper is a member of the orchid family of flowers
- You are most likely to come across the lady slipper in a damp wooded area where there is plenty of sunlight.
- The state flower is protected by law and it is illegal to pick the flowers or to uproot the plant. Enjoy it where you find it and preserve your memory with a photo.
- Lady slipper plants may live for at least 50 years and grow to be four feet tall.
- Because the plants grow slowly, it may be anywhere from four to sixteen years before they flower.
- When the blooms do appear, it will be in late June or early July.
- For help in knowing how to view the lady slipper and other Minnesota wild flowers, we like the Wildflowers of Minnesota Field Guide.
Where is the best place to see the Minnesota State Flower?
The Lady Slipper's we have seen have all been in the northern and north central parts of Minnesota. Our family owns land that borders Itasca State Park and we have, several times, seen the state flower on our own property as well as in other areas nearby. We have also spotted the flowers near Cass Lake and Bemidji.
We have had friends tell us of seeing Lady Slippers blooming in many other parts of the state including sheltered areas in the Twin Cities and a number of places in the southern part of the state.
A highway that runs for 28 miles between Blackeduck, MN and Cass Lake, MN was formerly known at the "Scenic Highway." It has been renamed in honor of the state flower and is now known as the Lady Slipper Scenic Byway.
In 1990, Governor Rudy Perpich declared 81 miles of Highway 11 a Minnesota Wildflower Route, in honor of the large number of Showy Lady's Slippers growing along that route. The state of Minnesota erected signs with a lady slipper graphic on them along this highway.
Over the years several towns have held Lady Slipper festivals in honor of the Minnesota state flower.
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